These interviews could just as easily have happened a year ago. Owatonna sophomore Preston Meier and eighth-grader Carsyn Brady each came within a whisker of qualifying for the state cross country meet in 2018. Missing by just a place or two last year gave each runner the motivation to work harder over the off season to make their state meet debuts.

The state meet is Saturday, November 2 at St. Olaf College in Northfield. The girls AA event begins at 10 am. Boys AA will follow at 11 am. Class A races are in the afternoon. Brady and Meier could possibly be trailblazing for 2020 as well, considering that neither OHS team had a senior running in the varsity race at sections.

Brady says she worked out often and changed her diet to improve her chances of qualifying for state after missing by one spot last year. In the interview below [click on her name] she says, "really excited" to run Saturday. She intends to run with a Faribault runner who usually has about the same pace as Brady. Regarding a goal, Brady says, "Try to make top 50, break 19 (minutes) again." She also wishes the weather was a little warmer.

Carsyn Brady

As a team, the Owatonna girls finished third at the section meet at Brooktree, one spot out of advancing to state as a team. Brady was 8th overall individually.

Meier missed state by two spots in 2018. He dedicated his off season to putting in more miles and making each workout a solid step forward. Coming down the stretch at the section meet at Brooktree, he figured he was in good standings to capture a state trip, "Do whatever I had to do to hold on to that position."

Meier doesn't mind the weather and says he runs better in the cold. His goal for Saturday is simple, "Enjoy it. Hopefully run a personal best." Currently that's 16:35.

Preston Meier

Watch for results on Wayzataresults.com.

In the cover photos, Brady and Meier are pictured with several of their teammates who continued to work out with them this week. Top (left to right) Carsyn Brady, Laura Stevenson, Zinash Valen, Jaci Burtis, and Jeni Burtis. Bottom, Evan Buck, Connor Ginskey, Preston Meier, and Jack Meiners.